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Monday, October 2, 2023

DLEAG explains cocaine seizure at Brussels Airport


Press release

The Gambia Drug Law Enforcement Agency (DLEAG) informs the public that on Thursday 20th July 2023, it received information from its partners of the seizure of three (3) drug-laden traveling bags.

The bags were reportedly seized on Tuesday 18th July 2023 some few kilometers from the Brussels Airport. Each of the seized bags is alleged to be containing forty (40) blocks of cocaine. An investigation was immediately commissioned to unearth the circumstances surrounding the shipment of the drugs.

Subsequently, contact was established with Belgian investigators to share possible leads and exchange information. Preliminary findings revealed that the three bags, all wrapped in transparent plastics, were unaccompanied and none of them had the security tag of Brussels Airlines from Banjul. While the seizure is being associated with the 17th of July 2023 Brussels Airlines flight from Banjul, the three check-in bag tags bear different dates specifically: the 15th, the 17th and the 25th April, 2023. Curiously, this is almost three months before the announcement of the July 17th, 2023, seized drugs.

Verification with Brussels Airlines revealed that there was no flight operated to and from Banjul on 15th and 25th April 2023. Furthermore, the route on the bag tags was Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) – Brussels (BRU) – Banjul (BJL), suggesting that the bags were inbound and not outbound as contained in the allegations.

Based on available information, the circumstances surrounding the origin of these bags remain blurry.

However, a full and thorough investigation has been launched to come to the bottom of this case.

DLEAG would like to reassure Gambians and our bilateral and multilateral partners of its commitment to the fight against transnational drug trafficking and are determined to hold drug dealers criminally accountable.

Alh. Bakary Gassama

Director General

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